Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser

Ponds Cold Cream

This product has been around forever (since the early twentieth century, according to Wikipedia), and it’s in every grocery store in existence. Until two months ago, I ignored it completely, until it was at Target for $4 and I impulse bought it.

This product is a white cream cleanser. It’s, as the title would suggest, cool to the touch. The instructions on the back say to use it as cleanser. I was hesitant to do so because there’s definitely mineral oil in it, and my sensitive skin is very… particular to what oils end up on my face, if any at all. But I tried it anyway (no patch testing, yee-haw!). Although it required a little more manual effort of pushing the product around on my face than my normal foaming cleansers would seem to require, it actually did take off my makeup more effectively than aforementioned foaming cleansers.

I did this for a day or two. I am convinced it did cause a small breakout on my chin, but there’s no way to prove that. Needless to say, at that point, I started using the product only around my eyes, since it’s totally awesome at removing eye makeup.

There is an instruction on the back that suggests you do not have to wash off the product after applying it. After cleaning off my eye makeup one night, I decided to leave a few swipes “on”, under my eyes, right on top of my beautiful dark circles. It felt kind of nice, actually — the skin around my eyes tends to get irritated because of how sensitive my eyes are, and this product is super cooling (and, said product does not cause further irritation to my eyes!). And I SWEAR the next morning my circles looked a bit fainter. Placebo effect? Who knows. But I still do it to this day. Even if it’s just mind trickery, I’ll take it! ~A

To try out this oldie-but-goodie, click this link: https://amzn.to/2SOvycc

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5 (as an eye cream, or eye makeup remover. As an actual makeup remover, 4/5)

Longevity: 4.5/5 — if left on

How much I actually like this product: 4/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No

Bio-Oil Specialist Skincare Oil

Bio Oil

Bio-Oil has been present and visible on the skincare market for just about forever, touting itself as a magical cure-all for all your scars and acne and infiltrating at least one full-page ad in every issue of Cosmo and Glamour. After some failed attempts to apply coconut oil (do not recommend) and jojoba oil (do not recommend, but to a lesser extent) as part of the “oil cleansing method”, I was pretty apprehensive to try this out. But hey, the claim on the bottle was that it was non-comedogenic so, here we are.

For an oil, it’s relatively watery and light weight — very thin. I don’t really love the bottle it’s packaged in, because if you squeeze too tight, you’re obviously going to get way too much product, but just flipping the bottle over on it’s side will only get you one or two drops, which isn’t enough. The smell isn’t obtrusive, it’s very light and sweet, and will linger if bio-oil is the last product you put on your skin.

Speaking of last product you put on your skin, bio-oil absolutely does not play well with anything else! It will pill the living daylights out of anything else you have on your face. For me, this was better to use in the summer at night-time, when my skin needed the hydration, but I wasn’t using any super-heavy moisturizers.

True to it’s word, it did not break me out. Obviously it’s oil, so you have to be careful not to touch anything with your face. I felt like my face was a little bit more hydrated and bouncy when I woke up the next morning.

As far as the scarring goes… I have some pretty severe scarring from acne on my face. In my personal opinion, the Epiduo and the lactic acid that I use are the most effective at clearing that up. The Bio Oil might “help”, but if it is, the results are comparatively very slow from what I’ve seen with lactic acid. Stretch marks, on the other hand.. I have a few long white stretch marks on my torso from losing weight. I used Bio Oil on this for a few weeks and I SWEAR they became less pronounced — less puffy, and less white-colored, more skin-colored. Another case of placebo, perhaps. But if you’re going to buy this stuff anyway, might as well try it, right?

For $9, it’s not a bad product. I certainly like it better during the summer, so I probably won’t repurchase it until then, but if you want to try out oils, I think that Bio-Oil is a good start, particularly if you are acne-prone. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 3.8/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5

Mario Badescu Facial Spray – Aloe, Herbs, Rosewater

Mario Badescu Facial Spray Rose

I looove this stuff. I’m not sure why. It’s another case of “is it doing anything?”. I don’t know if it is, but it sure makes my face feel better.

I spritz this stuff on after I get out of the shower, or after I wash off my makeup — so, I use it both morning and night. It smells GREAT — like roses, of course, as the label would imply. This isn’t something that I would use in place of a moisturizer, although the aloe certainly does provide some moisturizing aspect, but it does give the skin a little boost prior to putting the next layer on.

The website says something about “dewy radiance” and “boosts … glow”. I mean, of course, you basically just spritzed yourself with water, so of course you’re going to have a glow for a minute or two. But once it absorbs, it doesn’t quite stick around. Sure does feel pretty soothing, though.

I can’t really tell if there’s been any long-term benefit from using it, and unfortunately that rose water smell kind of, wears off after a few minutes. But for a quick boost and the “first layer” after washing your face, this is great, especially at the price point of $5. And since the ingredient list is pretty minimalistic, it has no adverse effect on my skin — no breakouts! I just picked up the cucumber and green tea spray the other day at Ulta, so I’ll see how that one stacks up compared to this.  ~A

Grab this refreshing pick-me-up here: https://amzn.to/2RhFxtV

Perceived efficacy: 4/5

Longevity: n/a (I don’t know if longevity is what this product is going for, really… I mean, it’s basically fancy water)

How much I actually like this product: 4.8/5 (if only that wonderful smell just lasted a liiiiittle longer!)

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide

I found a post the other day on Reddit, in which the user was confused as to what the hype was re: products from The Ordinary. The concern was that the product — this one, specifically — pilled like crazy. At which point I thought… MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!

I like the company’s mission here, to strip out all the extra junk you don’t need. I appreciate that. But I also don’t understand how that makes this practical for every day use. See, on initial application, this stuff looks lovely — it makes a nice glossy-not-shiny sheen over your skin. Glassy with an “a”, actually, that seems like the best word to use. I like it. It’s odorless, and you apply a few drops with a dropper. A little goes a long way. And I think I picked this one up for $11 — not bad!

But that all comes to a halt after 30 minutes. Suddenly, even without touching your face, the pills start to form everywhere. Your skin just peeeeeeels off. Did you have sunscreen or makeup on? That’s going to come off, too. So I quickly learned that, at minimum, this is not for “going to work” use.

But then I thought… when the heck am I supposed to use this? Either way, it’s going to peel off, and apparently it’s going to peel off anything else I’ve applied as well, including other moisturizers.

And I mean — is the Niacinamide even working? Similar to the Cerave PM, I feel like the initial application does make it appear that my pores have shrunken, due to that glassiness both products create initially. As for any long term effects… I guess I haven’t been using it long enough to tell, but I also cannot fathom how it is useful when it falls off your face after 20 minutes.

I don’t know. I want to repurchase it, I want to love it because everyone else does. But I just… don’t get it. If you have any insight as to what I may be doing wrong, leave me a comment! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 2/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 3/5 (that initial glossiness, though!)

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel (and Water Gel Extra Dry)

Neutrogena Hydro Boost

This stuff has been part of my nightly regime for close to a year now, and I love it.

There’s really not too big of a difference between the two formulas except the color — in fact, I accidentally bought the extra dry formula online, and didn’t realize that it had even existed until I looked at the color and wondered what on earth I had bought (extra dry coloration is white, instead of the normal formula’s blue). Extra dry is a little heavier, and application is a bit tackier, so it might require a longer setting time but still won’t interfere with the rest of your process. I think I’m going to use extra dry a bit more in the winter.

I think the color is kind of neat for the original formula — light blue! It doesn’t apply that way, though. The stuff sinks in almost immediately, and it’s weightless. Your skin will be softer on touch. That moisture will persist for at least eight hours, and won’t pill off throughout the day. The fragrance is nice — very light, fresh, won’t drive you insane during the day. And, added bonus, the packaging is kind of cool in the light blue container, making it hard to miss in my vanity.

What I love love love about this stuff is that it does not conflict with anything else I put on for the day — be it extra layers of moisturizer, sunscreen or makeup. NO PILLING!! Ah, yes, and for all you acne-sufferers out there, this stuff is oil free, and was a mainstay during my hormonal acne.

The price point is a little annoying at $14-18 depending on where you buy from, but it should last between a month to three months, contingent on how much it gets used. ~A

To try the regular formula, click here: https://amzn.to/2GXTdFT For the extra dry formula, click here: https://amzn.to/2VvPEtP

Perceived efficacy: 5/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 5/5

Clinique Dramatically Different Gel

Clinique Dramatically Different

What I originally thought was an underwhelming moisturizer, Clinique’s Dramatically Different Gel became a must-have staple for me. I’m a sucker for good packaging or good marketing tactics, so, as you could imagine, I didn’t exactly feel “dramatically different” after using this product as the package may have suggested right away. And besides hyaluronic acid and caffeine, this moisturizer doesn’t boast any skin improving quality that falls out of the norm.

But for long-term use, this gel really does work! It’s medium weight (despite advertising as light), so it doesn’t quite sink into your skin fully but it doesn’t feel like it’s weighing you down, either (nor will it leave behind a sticky feeling!), and you won’t need to go the extra mile to rub it in. It also seems like this is doing a better job of controlling my oiliness throughout the day than the Cerave PM does. This moisturizer has a extremely faint vanilla smell, but will become odorless after application.

This product is oil and alcohol free, which makes it a great choice for anyone with acne-prone skin. I have never broken out from using this product.

I don’t have any issues with this product pilling with my makeup, particularly since this dries down quickly. I also didn’t feel that my skin dried out, or became tighter after a full day of wear.

For the price point of $25-28, it was difficult, at first, to justify the cost of such an initially underwhelming moisturizer. But as time passed, I learned that perhaps less is more. My skin quality has been phenomenal after using this prodycg long-term! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 4.5/5

Longevity: 4.5/5

How much I actually like this product: 5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: Yes

Stratia Liquid Gold

Stratia Liquid Gold

I really, REALLY wanted to like this. The gold color, promise of crazy hydration and the fact that it reminded me of a fabric paint tube really lured me into dropping $24 on this thing directly from Stratia’s website. It was not a $24 well spent.

It didn’t do anything.

This products gets a lot of hype on reddit for repairing destroyed moisture barriers, and having an optimal combination of ingredients to do so (ceramides and cholesterol).  I live in a city with harsh winters, and I also have combo skin with dry areas in the lower quadrant of my face, so moisture is definitely an issue for me — so I was excited to try this out.

And this just… this just didn’t do anything.

It’s cool that it’s yellow, but the runny-ness of the formula just isn’t effective at all. You may have well have just dripped some water onto the my face and called it a day. My skin felt neither protected by an additional layer, nor did it feel/look any softer. This, of course, infers that I couldn’t really “feel” that I had applied it after even 10 minutes or so. And even despite the thinness of it, the yellow would still show up if you’re not careful to rub it in hard enough. I really do think that, not only did it look and act like paint, but it also smelled like paint as well.

I speculated that this product aggravated my acne a little bit. I had a couple new spots after usage — I mean, this could have been from anything, but the timing was a little suspect.

It looks like they’ve changed the packaging recently, so I’m curious if the formulation was changed in that time, as well. But for now, my review will remain based on the product you see pictured above — totally not worth the purchase. I know there’s a huge cult following for Liquid Gold — if you love this stuff and want to let me know why, feel free to leave a comment! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 1/5 (I mean, how can there be longevity if you didn’t feel it working in the first place…?)

How much I actually like this product: 1/5

 

Cerave PM – Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Cerave PM

Welcome to my #firstpost! The whole point of this place is because I was sick of going on Youtube and watching makeup/skincare/beauty product reviews, only to find out that the video was sponsored, which made me question literally everything the creator was saying. Is it genuine if someone’s giving you a nudge one direction when you review their product? Making things worse, a lot of these videos — just to review one single product — are anywhere between eight and twenty-five minutes long. I really just wanted someone to tell me “yes” or “no”. So here I am, reviewing makeup, moisturizers, lotions, supplements — pretty much any beauty product that I’ve ever tried, I’ll post at some point.

Now, onto the review.

I stockpile Cerave PM just in case I run out, if that is any indication of how much I like this stuff. When I travel and I am forced to “pack light” (ha!) and choose one moisturizer, I will usually choose this. It’s ridiculously light weight and sinks into your skin immediately. Besides a few fatty alcohols, there aren’t any known “drying” alcohols contained in this product.

But is the niacinamide ingredient actually helping scar damage? I can’t really tell. I have plenty of scars from acne, and I can’t say that I’ve noticed any marked improvement by using this product specifically.

As for longevity, I apply this in the morning, and generally feel like my skin is moisturized all day. I’d recommend it to anyone just getting into the moisturizing game, or someone who is attempting to go back to basics. The price point is great at $9-$13. Oh, it doesn’t seem to break me out, either, and you can put three layers of the stuff on your face and it still won’t pill, even under makeup. ~A

A note from future A: This product recently reformulated, and has made my skin react poorly — buyer beware, in 2020! My new post on this change is here.

Perceived efficacy: 3/5

Longevity: 4.25/5

How much I actually like this product: 4.25/5